Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/21359
Title: Upward counterfactual thinking and depression: A meta-analysis
Contributor(s): Broomhall, Anne Gene (author); Phillips, Wendy J (author)orcid ; Hine, Don W (author); Loi, Natasha (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2017.04.010
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/21359
Abstract: This meta-analysis examined the strength of association between upward counterfactual thinking and depressive symptoms. Forty-two effect sizes from a pooled sample of 13,168 respondents produced a weighted average effect size of r = .26, p < .001. Moderator analyses using an expanded set of 96 effect sizes indicated that upward counterfactuals and regret produced significant positive effects that were similar in strength. Effects also did not vary as a function of the theme of the counterfactual-inducing situation or study design (cross-sectional versus longitudinal). Significant effect size heterogeneity was observed across sample types, methods of assessing upward counterfactual thinking, and types of depression scale. Significant positive effects were found in studies that employed samples of bereaved individuals, older adults, terminally ill patients, or university students, but not adolescent mothers or mixed samples. Both number-based and Likert-based upward counterfactual thinking assessments produced significant positive effects, with the latter generating a larger effect. All depression scales produced significant positive effects, except for the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview. Research and theoretical implications are discussed in relation to cognitive theories of depression and the functional theory of upward counterfactual thinking, and important gaps in the extant research literature are identified.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Clinical Psychology Review, v.55, p. 56-73
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0272-7358
1783-7811
Field of Research (FOR): 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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